Rick Barnes likens Vols' Grant Williams to NBA player P.J. Tucker

Tennessee's Grant Williams is all smiles after shooting 22 points and getting another double-double against the Demon Deacons of Wake Forest at Thompson-Boxing Arena on Saturday, Dec. 22, 2019. (Photo by Patrick Murphy-Racey)

KNOXVILLE - Tennessee basketball coach Rick Barnes has had a player like Grant Williams before.

In more ways than one.

"P.J. Tucker," Barnes said Monday when asked if had a comparison to Williams in his many years of coaching. "They were both fat when they got to college."

Tucker arrived at Texas in 2003 as an undersized (in height) forward who, like Williams with the Volunteers, made an immediate impact on the Longhorns program, averaging 10.4 points and 6.8 rebounds a gaame. He became a second-round NBA draft pick and spent time in the NBA Developmental League as well as overseas before returning in 2012 to the NBA, where he has spent time with the Phoenix Suns, Toronto Raptors and currently the Houston Rockets.

"They both had to work hard to lose weight, and they both have big hands, (are) strong, aren't afraid to compete, and both are workers," Barnes added.